Camp Paradise is the world’s first ecosystem restoration disaster response camp. We are located in Butte County, approximately 70 miles north of the California state capitol of Sacramento. We are thrilled to be endorsed as the third camp to join the Ecosystem Restoration Camp global network, following Camp Altiplano in Spain and Camp Via Organica in Mexico. Other camps have been set up in locations where the land has been degraded over time by human activity but our Camp is unique in being a response to a specific environmental disaster. The Ecosystem Restoration Camp international movement is engaging a large number of people in ecological restoration work to restore degraded lands to ecological health and vitality for generations to come, and launched in 2017. We are members of the ERC California Council to develop strategies and resources for building bio-regional hubs and expanding the number of camps across California. Right now we need restoration action happening all around Butte County and it takes a Village. Here is our page on their website: Camp Paradise on the ERC.
Our goal is:
• To restore land in the areas affected by the devastating fire, create healthy ecosystems with sustainable local food sources, build fire safe homes and buildings, create green jobs, and teach local communities about ecosystem restoration.
How will the Camp achieve this?
• 1) By delivering education and training for local communities
• 2) By creating public demonstrations, focusing on schools and young people
• 3) By hosting pop-up camps and action days and creating volunteering opportunities
Volunteers embrace their comrades with the signature ERC hug and message. Photo credit: Saskia Hatvany
Over 50 fruit trees and plants were planted by volunteers at Pine Ridge Elementary School. Photo credit: Saskia Hatvany
Forty campers consisting of locals and residents across California joined the call to volunteer at our Spring Camp weekend at a local permaculture farm, to reconnect with the land and join in solidarity for camp fire victims. Photo credit: Saskia Hatvany
Campers gather for a Learning Tour of the permaculture farm and infrastructure to support the camp weekend. Photo Credit: Minea Bisset
Our strategy is a mobile restoration unit of pop-up camps to scale our model and create demonstration sites and permaculture systems at public places all over the area. We partner with local permaculture farms and sites to host campers and then choose a public location in need of ecological restoration to engage volunteers in restoration work in the area.
The pop-up camps are an opportunity for people to come together on the land for an educational experience in regenerative design, ecological restoration, community organizing and permaculture gardening.
Permaculture and systems experts work with the property owners to design the site for best function of life elements – water, soil, shelter, biodiversity, food systems, and community.
We work with local schools, downtown public spaces, businesses, community centers and gathering spaces to restore soil and water cycles on their land by planting appropriate fruit trees for food and shade, cover crop and native plants, create earthworks and water systems, build dry-composting toilets, or whatever is needed for that particular site.
Nearly 100 people gathered at Pine Ridge Elementary School during our Spring Camp Weekend on April 27th, 2019 to install a permaculture demonstration site. Pictured – Garden School Coordinator Mandy Kling, Principal Talin Tamzarian and Matthew Trumm, CFRP Founder. Photo Credit: April Mangino
Rather than one Camp, we are facilitating a system that stacks functions to influence change and create synergy as quickly as possible. Our Mobile Unit goes with us to the demonstration site where we work, easily accessible to meet the needs of where we serve and can be available for rent to property owners interested in hosting their own ecosystem restoration groups.
Our mobile camp infrastructure built by our experts to serve 100 campers today includes three dry composting toilets, an outdoor heated shower, water filtration system and outdoor kitchen and sink – all low-cost appropriate technologies easy to build. Teams design systems as needed and run additional areas for kids, communal space and wellness/healing for massage, movement, medicine and compassionate listening.
Mobile tool & material trailer ran by Leo Lauchere, Jared Wood and Lars. Photo Credit: Saskia Hatvany
Prep-Crew Jesse Grimes and Matthew Smelser constructing outdoor dry-composting toilets Photo Credit: Matthew Trumm
Michael Davis brought a mobile water filtration station by Pure Water that hooks up to water sources. Photo Credit: April Mangino
Outdoor kitchen ran by mother and daughter duo Stacy and Cassidy Wear, residents of nearby town Chico. Photo Credit: Minea Bisset
Read about and see more photos of our Spring Camp Weekend in the Spring 2019 Camp album.
The work we do is where everyone can see it. Public demonstrations. It’s in a healthy space near resources and where the community can interact with it. They can feel the temperature change, the beauty, the insect life – it’s this felt experience that is accessible to people which inspires the culture shift – naturally creating exponential growth. Schools are our first priority, as it’s the place where youth, educators and parents – the influential mother stocks of the new system – gather.